How to Not Go Insane

Ever read this? “The definition of insanity is doing the same thing over and over expecting different results.” I can’t remember who said this but I have heard it many times. Three separate times this week alone in fact, from three very different sources. You better believe my ears perked up. You don’t have to hit me over the head, or at least more than three times, to get my attention.

Insanity, now there’s a topic we all know a little bit about if we’re going to be really honest with each other. There is just something about the combination of sudden weight gain, postnatal hormones, sleep deprivation and being introduced to the toughest most rewarding job on the planet…parenthood…that can make a girl go a little mad.

Examining Our Lives

So maybe as moms and as women facing a large number of challenges in our lives, seemingly all at the same time in our life, maybe, just maybe we can glean something from these words of wisdom. I know for me this week, these words have helped me examine what my ways of “doing” and “being” are bringing.

Here’s a perfect example. I am a led foot driver. Most passengers in my car would attest to this. I realized even my kids had noticed when one day as I was driving on the highway and another car passed us, my kids yelled “Go FASTER mom, go FASTER!” Not only that, but I’m not a very good rule follower in general when it comes to driving. I have perfected the St. Louis roll…nearly stopping but not quite when I encounter a stop sign. You get the idea. And I never get tickets. But this week it all changed for me. This week I got not one but two tickets. One for parking in an area I KNEW I wasn’t supposed to park in because I wanted to run in and out of a shop; busted; the other for pulling one of my famous rolling stops, apparently less than legal.

Setting a New Way of Being

And then it dawned on me. Here is a place in my life that I am up for changing. I want to be a road rule follower. In fact, I want to be a “rule follower” in general. I see where my tendency to ignore the little rules of the road also shows up in my life. And I don’t like the results. This week, it meant traffic tickets. Next week, who knows? I don’t want to find out.

Here is the invitation. If we want to stay sane (and who doesn’t) we can’t keep doing what we’ve always done in an area of life that are not working for us. If we do and expect different results, then we are the definition of insanity. The good news is that we can do something different.

Let’s make a pledge right now to do or be different in one area of life that isn’t working. Write it down…put it on the frig…write it on the bathroom mirror in lipstick…tattoo it to your forehead…whatever. But get it out there. My new way of being is to be a rule follower. Will I be perfect right of the bat? Heck no, but I have to start somewhere.

Sanity…and Then Some!

If you do this, in a few days you can expect something new to show up in your life. Things certainly did in mine. I decided to file a pile of papers left on my office floor since January. I had ignored this pile for far to long, figuring that it wasn’t that important and surely there were more pressing matters to attend to. But this week I was following the rules. And that meant filing the pile because it needed filing. And what to my surprise did I discover but two separate checks made out to our business. One to the tune of $587.23. Wow. Confirmation that I am on the right track. This whole “rule following” business ain’t all bad!

Where have you been doing what you’ve always done…expecting different results? Is there a new way? Write to me and tell me how this lives for you…with your children, your work, housework, relationships…even the struggle to get and stay organized (do I hear an amen??!!). Send me a line and let me know your new ways and what they are bringing into your life.

A little bit more sanity and $587.23 I hope!

Suzanne, aka Zen Mommy
In addition to mommying to two magical girls born in 2000 and 2003, Suzanne owns a holistic health center in St. Louis, Missouri where she practices as a physical therapist, Certified Infant Massage Instructor and health education teacher. Certified in a number of healing and life education approaches, Suzanne offers life coaching as Zen Mommy Coach.


  1. Zen Mommy, I think this one was for ME! Wasn’t it?! RECEIVING. RECEIVING. RECEIVING. And some say soon, I will be done “working on it” and just BE. 🙂

    Aren’t you proud of your “oh so practical” friend?

  2. HEY PRACTICAL MOMMY…YOU GOT IT!!! receive…receive…receive…love it.

    This one was actually for ME…pure selfish motives…i just reread it and it was like someone else had written it for ME. ha. no…i do not have a split personality… just a message worth RE-reading. Each new day brings new eyes and a brand new area of life to take on.

    Today i read it not from a place of being a “rule follower” but one of TRUSTING and turning things over. Sure beats being an anxious ball of nerves!!!

  3. You did sound like an anxious ball of nerves yesterday… how un-Zen of you!

  4. yep. my pen name is about an aspiration to view the sometimes crazy, always rewarding world of motherhood in a zen like manner…not that I am personally A ZEN MOMMY!!!

    not wanting to, but let’s be very clear, I AM NOT!!! it’s not a place any of us can expect to get to in motherhood…just a way we travel on the road…somedays more easily than others…

    Love ya practical mommy…